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Trump just signed a prime directive on the Space Force. Now it’s up to Congress to make it so
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.
If Congress approves the creating of the new military branch, Space Force would be led by a military chief of staff, who would also be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a civilian Undersecretary of the Air Force for Space, the senior administration official said.
Eventually, Space Force would come under the purview of an independent military department for space.Space Force would be made up of the service members and Defense Department civilians from all of the military branches who are already supporting space operations, the official said. It would also create career tracks for uniformed and civilian space personnel.
The Defense Department has no plans to ask Congress to include NASA or any other non-military space organizations into Space Force, the official said.
One unresolved question is how much Space Force will cost. The Defense Department plans to ask for less than $100 million for the military branch as part of the fiscal 2020 budget, senior administration officials said on Tuesday. The total cost could be less than $5 billion, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters in November.
"Within the coming weeks we will submit our legislative proposal to Congress to authorize the establishment of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces," Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers said on Tuesday.
Separately, the U.S. military has already taken steps to create a new combatant command dedicated exclusively to space. Currently, space operations are overseen by U.S. Strategic Command, which is also responsible for the U.S. military's nuclear mission.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in January that he has someone in mind to lead Space Command but he did not say who that person was.
Establishing Space Command is, "The most important step we take going forward – and the one we need to do the quickest," Air Force Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday before Trump signed the directive.
"We as service chiefs know how to organize, train, equip, and present ready forces to a combatant commander," Goldfein said at the liberal Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C. "I'll use SOCOM [Special Operations Command] as an example: I know how to take airmen, give them the training they need, present them to the SOCOM commander, and have Gen. [Raymond] Thomas give them a higher level of training, give them some specific equipment, and he fights them in a global campaign."
"I expect the exact same model for the U.S. Space Command commander," he continued. "The difference is that in special operations command, all the services have rather robust elements that they offer to the combatant commander. When it comes to Space Command as the supported commander, upwards of 80 to 90 % of the force that we'll present will be airmen."
WATCH NEXT: Here Comes The Space Force?
One year in, Army Futures Command is fully up and running. Here's some of the new tech it's been working on
Army Futures Command will reach fully operational status just before the newest gem of the Army's modernization plan sees its first birthday on August 24th, officials announced on Tuesday.
AFC Commander Gen. John "Mike" Murray told reporters at a technologies showcase on Tuesday that the command will be fully operational on July 31st before showing off everything AFC personnel have been working on over the last year, from night vision goggles and robotic vehicles to new air- and missile-defense capabilities.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has been told to stop using the Marine Corps' emblem and the 1st Marine Division's motto in his campaign literature, Corps officials confirmed.
The Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office has sent Hunter, a Marine veteran, a cease and desist letter telling him to quit using the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem along with the phrase, "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy," on a fundraising mailer that accuses his political opponent of having links to terrorism, NBC News first reported on Wednesday.
Army recruiter allegedly solicited girls as young as 10 for sex while calling himself 'Colorado batman'
Arapahoe County sheriff's deputies have arrested a U.S. Army recruiter for investigation of soliciting girls as young as 10 years old for sex after he allegedly sent selfies calling himself "Colorado batman," the sheriff's department reported.
An Army appeals court has rejected Bowe Bergdahl's claim that President Trump's public description of him as "a no-good traitor who should have been executed" and other comments on the disgraced soldier's case constituted unlawful command influence (UCI).
The Marine Corps must update its parental-leave policies to give new moms and dads time with their newborns, the service's new top general wrote this week, including considering a full year's worth of leave for women who've had a child.
"These outcomes should never be in competition to the extent that success with one will come at the expense of the other," Berger wrote. "Our parental/maternity leave policies are inadequate and have failed to keep pace with societal norms and modern talent management practices."